But most of our other difficulties (Step Six continued)

But most of our other difficulties don’t fall under such a category at all. Every normal person wants, for example, to eat, to reproduce, to be somebody in the society of his fellows. And he wishes to be reasonably safe and secure as he tries to attain these things. Indeed, God made him that way. He did not design man to destroy himself by alcohol, but he did give man instincts to help him to stay alive.

Interesting that someone who was childless lists reproducing along with eating as something that every normal person wants. I know plenty of people who have no desire to reproduce. Oh well, different time and all. I can also struggle with the idea that God didn’t design people to destroy themselves by alcohol. There’s a self destructive urge in so many of us that expresses itself in so many ways. Is this not put there by God? I don’t know, and this actually leads to the question of why there is evil in the world. Did God design it? Allow it? Fail to prevent it? Is it here to test us? I’ve come a long long way with spirituality, but I don’t know how close I will ever come to feeling like I know the answer to that. I can see it each and every way, and no one explanation beckons me very strongly. At the same time that I can ask why am I an alcoholic and so many others aren’t, I can also ask why did I achieve a reprieve when so many others did not.

In order to continue with the step I’m going to try to make some sense of these questions and move on. It seems certain to me that either God designed evil as part of the human condition for reasons I cannot begin to understand, or that God allows evil again, for reasons I can’t understand. I also hold out the possibility that there is no God, and that we humans are just high-order animals. It doesn’t distress me too much to think that. Most days I live my life as if there is a God, and even a sort of judgment day. If I’m wrong, it’s better to make the mistake this way, rather than to think that there is no God when there is.

One of my favorite Bible verses kind of fits here. I’ve briefly looked for a link, but I can’t quickly find one that uses the words I learned or imparts the message I understood. It’s from 1 Corinthians 10, and in my mind it goes like this: So if you think that you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that isn’t common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not test you beyond your ability to endure it, but with the testing he will also provide the way out. Again I run into trouble. Many people are tested beyond their ability to endure it, and they do not endure it. Not being able to endure, though, would apply to the final problem that kills a person. Each problem up until that one is somehow endured. It has been the way out that has interested me in AA. The solution seems to be there for people who will grasp it.

A woman who attends my home group often asked last week if alcoholism is hereditary. Her memory is not 100%, and since it felt to me like she was directly asking me, I answered her that it may be. Why then, she asked, would some of her children and grandchildren have it, and others not?

So that urge to drink to destruction was not God given, but the urge to reach out (and throw up) is. Most twisted desires don’t pound us into the ground like alcohol did. Most of our desires go wrong, but they begin in a place that is healthy, moderate and human.

Or not.

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